View Full Version : REdoing the Fighter

2007-12-14, 08:56 PM
I know I'm short a table, anyone wlling to add one is much appreciated.

My Fighter Remake

My goal in all of this:

My goal in all of this is very simple; I want to make fighters something other than a dip class. As it stands, the fighter feels good for a handful of things: A) Getting a few more combat related feats in a quick hurry and a few more hit points to boot. What Wizard wouldn’t mind the ability to gain Point Blank Shot & Precise Shot in two levels, especially with Ray Shooter builds? And what about Weapon Finesse & Two Weapon Fighting? Tack a few more Rogue levels to that and you have a perfect destroy through sneak attack build. The point is, with the proper mixing of easily gained Fighter abilities and ANOTHER classes class features, you can rapidly out utilize a stock Fighter. I have a good example of this; I am a Fighter in a campaign. I am six levels of fighter; I decided I wanted to be the expert marksman. After seven levels, I had every feat I’d ever want for marksmanship. I proceeded to cherry pick two levels of Order of the Bow Initiate for Close Combat Shot, then recently took my first level in Ranger and have decided my next eleven levels are likely going to be in Ranger or Bow Initiate. Rangers add Climb, Move Silently, Hide, Use Rope, and Spot to the skill list; all useful for an archer, who doesn’t need to get close to a target to kill it. That brings me to point B) Prestige classing; a few levels in fighter qualifies you for a variety of prestige classes, and if you dedicate to focus enough, there is NO CAPSTONE that would ever convince you to stay Fighter for 20 levels. The final point is C) The lack of realism; a Barbarian has d12 hit die, trapfinding, uncanny dodge…the list goes on. Why does the Barbarian who can’t even read get trapfinding? If you can’t find the proper phrase in a book, why CAN you find a TRAP in a WALL? It seems outrageous. Also, a Fighter, despite his great training, is likely unable to waste foes as fast as a Barbarian in rage; HE should get the d12 hit die. And why wouldn’t a Fighter be able to do a door to door search? He’s got formalized training. So, what I did with this was add some pedigree and training to the Fighter to represent their skills & experience in combat.

My Request:

As always; critique honestly but give comparisons and supporting arguments. I don’t appreciate, ‘this idea for balance sucks.’ I do, however, appreciate, ‘This idea for balance sucks. No fight is going to last long enough to challenge any of the players; compare hit points of things that will fight the enemy in melee, look at how many such creatures fight the fighter at once, give average damages, and you’ll find this Fighter will destroy them ALL.’

And now, I humbly present you…

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d12.

Class Skills
The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Perform (Practice Routine), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis) and Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Fighter
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Bonus feat
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Bonus feat
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Uncanny Dodge
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Bonus feat
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improvise Weapon
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Improved Uncanny Dodge
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 DR/1-
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Always Ready
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 DR/2-
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonus feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Combative Instinct I
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Bonus feat
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 DR/3-
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Seen Hell Already
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Bonus feat, Combative Instinct II, DR/4-

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the fighter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields).
Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a fighter gets a bonus combat-oriented feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to a human character. The fighter gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every two fighter levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th). These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats. A fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.
These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A fighter is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.
Uncanny Dodge: As Barbarian class feature.
Improvise Weapon: The fighter is used to making things that couldn’t quite be described as a weapon. Spears with points tied on by rope, rocks placed in a sack, a chair leg with a screw in it, etc. The Fighter can make entirely new weapons, as well; a hilt with three blades coming out of it, each of different lengths. He no longer takes a -4 for using improvised weapon, and if he practices for 2d6 hours per day for 1d4 days, he can treat any weapon he invents or improvises as if it was a martial weapon of similar type. Fighters often use this for minor advantages that they could not get out of normal versions; IE, a pile of rocks in a bag could be let go of midswing to make rocks fly into the faces of those fighting.
Improved Uncanny Dodge: As Barbarian class feature.
Damage Reduction: At 9th, 13th, 17th, and 20th level, the Fighters extensive experience taking hits, some minor, some severe, has toughed him. He mentally dismisses pain, and his body functions as if not struck at all. He gains a point of accumulating damage reduction at each of the above said levels.
Always Ready: The Fighter has done battle in some of the strangest situations, and never loses armor class even in bad situations, learning to duck, roll, dive, parry, stumble, and otherwise evade attacks that should hit him. He doesn’t lose his armor bonuses even when prone, climbing, swimming, asleep, etc.
Combative Instinct I: The Fighter knows when a foe is most vulnerable, can see it and act on it. Whenever an opponent makes an attack roll and rolls a natural one, the Fighter makes a single attack of opportunity. If it hits, the hit is automatically treated as a critical hit.
Seen Hell Already: The phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” has simply been shortened to “Hell hath no fury” for a veteran fighter; he isn’t staunched by conditions that would affect others drastically. Nonmagical effects that would blind, pain, deafen, kill, slow, paralyze, etc have no effect; you can damage a veteran fighter, but other than putting him down, you cannot put him OUT. Nothing less than death stops a Fighter of this skill.
Combative Instinct II: The Fighter develops a survival instinct which matches up with his aggression instinct. He is no longer subject to attacks of opportunity, as he predicts such assaults before they come and evades them with unerring precision.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2007-12-14, 09:41 PM
Could you bolden the headings. it's a bit hard on my eyes.

2007-12-14, 10:14 PM
C) The lack of realism; a Barbarian has d12 hit die, trapfinding, uncanny dodge…the list goes on. Why does the Barbarian who can’t even read get trapfinding? If you can’t find the proper phrase in a book, why CAN you find a TRAP in a WALL? It seems outrageous.

Um... I don't know where you got the notion that barbarians (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/barbarian.htm) get trapfinding, but that is false. They have trap sense, which is quite different, maybe that's what you're thinking of. Beyond that, let's not mistake illiteracy for incompetence. I'm pretty sure plenty of illiterate hunter-gatherers have existed throughout the ages who could find a trap (not to mention build, disguise, and set one) much more efficiently than I ever could, despite my fancy-shmancy collegiate education.

As to the rest of your build, while I like the idea of giving players an incentive to stick with the fighter class by improving the class's later-level benefits and perhaps creating a capstone of some kind, it looks to me like what you have is a fighter who's been beefed-up to be too big for his briches, straight from 1st level. You've added a huge number of advantages, many of them gleaned from the barbarian so that this class would leave the barbarian in the dust.

On pg. 174 of the 3.5 DMG, in the first paragraph under the heading "Avoiding the Pitfalls," there's a good description of the balancing factors between barbarians and fighters (I won't quote it here directly, since I don't think it's SRD material). While you might not agree with the folks at Wizards in what they claim there, I have to say that the fighter is a perfectly good class at early and even middle levels, as long as you pick your feats wisely, and its only at later levels that problems (like a diminishing supply of feats to choose from) start to crop up. Improving, or better yet, expanding upon, the fighter only feats might be a good place to go with this rebuild. I'd also suggest you concentrate more on the later levels -- considering the massive number of feats the fighter gains over the long haul, adding those extra skill points and barbarian abilities are overkill. Hell, the devs even had to seriously improve the barbarian's ability progression from 3E to 3.5 just so barbarians could keep up with the fighter in combat strength.

Personally, the main reason I wouldn't be too keen to play a straight fighter through all 20 levels is simply because they don't get the same sort of interesting/unique abilities that you can get through other classes, or through prestige classes. But the power and versitility of so many bonus feats is kind of the point of the fighter.

Some of those later-level abilities you have look promising, though I think the automatic crit part of Combative Instinct I is a little overpowered. An ability or abilities that reduce damage from sneak attacks/critical hits might be another place to go.

2007-12-14, 10:24 PM
Improvise Weapon is an interesting flavor ability, but I don't get the training limits. Doesn't spending 20 hours practicing entirely defeat the purpose of an improvised weapon? I think it may be a good idea to juggle the progression table and bump the ability up a few levels, and simply make it "You are proficient with absolutely anything you pick up and can treat any weaponlike object as being a martial weapon of a similar shape and composition".

Always Ready looks interesting, but the wording is very vague and could stand to be cleaned up. "Losing armor bonuses" is not very precisely defined. Generally the only part of your armor class that's subject to being lost in the sorts of situations you list is your Dexterity bonus to AC (and dodge bonuses to AC, but those are explicitly tied to DEX bonus to AC). It's also unclear what happens if you are asleep, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless, which normally not only denies your Dexterity bonus to AC but also treats your DEX as being effectively 0 (for a -5 DEX modifier to AC). Also, prone does not remove any part of your AC bonus or deny you DEX bonus, it just imposes a flat penalty.

Damage reduction never hurts, although it takes away some of the uniqueness of the barbarian (quite a lot of it actually, considering everything else this version of the fighter is getting from the barbarian). Possibly consider changing it into an AC bonus instead? Dumb barbarians take hits; fighters know how to avoid the hits in the first place.

Combative Instinct I is pretty potent but very limited and luck-based, nothing overwhelming one way or the other for a 15th level ability.

Seen Hell Already is really cool, but it's too little and too late. It would be nice if fighters got some sort of weaker version earlier in the teens levels which could then get bumped up to full immunity at 19th. It's still not great, though, since 90% of the time those effects are going to be coming from magical sources that it's useless against.

Combative Instinct II is a decent capstone, although it's kind of meh. Then again it might be worth it just to see the look on the face of someone's super-AoO build... "I AoO you 8 times!" "No you don't :smallamused:."

2007-12-14, 10:33 PM
This helps for tables... (http://pifro.com/dnd/index.php?Class=Custom&Site=GITP&Saves=GGBB&Lvl=20&SCC=3&SL1=Bonus%20Feat&SC1=2&SL2=Damage%20Reduction%20{}/-&SC2=292)
or, here:

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Bonus Feat

+0|Bonus Feat

+1|Uncanny Dodge

+1|Bonus Feat

+1|Improvise Weapon

+2|Bonus Feat

+2|Improved Uncanny Dodge

+2|Bonus Feat

+3|Damage Reduction 1/-

+3|Bonus Feat

+3|Always Ready

+4|Bonus Feat

+4|Damage Reduction 2/-

+4|Bonus Feat

+5|Combat Instinct I

+5|Bonus Feat

+5|Damage Reduction 3/-

+6|Bonus Feat

+6|Seen Hell Already

+6|Bonus Feat, Combat Instinct II, Damage Reduction 4/-

2007-12-14, 10:52 PM
That there is barbarian envy. The fighter doesn't need to be remade. It needs new feats and abilities, which it gets in the PHB2.

Now I will be the barbarian defender, since I played a barbarian in my first game ever.

The whole reason why barbarian has trap sense is because he, unlike his fighter friend, doesn't rely on pure skill. Instead he relies on instinct, which is what trap sense stands for, sort of a spider sense if you will. He gets a bonus to saves against traps.

And there is a reason why you should be going into 20 levels of fighter thanks too the PHB2. Weapon supremacy. That requires level 18. And not to mention all the feats that just increase damage of the specific type of weapon (bludgeoning and piercing).

Course, I don't own, cause I don't own the book, but they really help the fighter out. If you want to help the fighter out, make feats in the high levels as to make the figher worth taking.

2007-12-15, 02:13 AM
Wow. I am VERY happy to see this amount of posting. If only I'd gotten these responses to my Paladin & Wizard remakes, as well as my Duelist base class. Ok, I'm going to defend my biased point of view; it's nothing less than biased, and I won't deny that.

I don't envy the Barbarians; I just see inconsistencies. The mainline melee'ist who does the most damage over a short period of time has a larger hit die? It seems like a Fighter would need the larger hit die, & the Uncanny Dodge, to outlast his opponents; good feat selection or not, it's all almost hugely situational and die-based.

And yes, I DON'T see why a Barbarian hunter would get a Trapfinding ability, ESPECIALLY since they rely on pure skills. The fact of the matter is that out in the wild, man traps the animals, not the other way around. The Barbarian, unless he's started hanging out with strange crowds, doesn't go into dungeons as part of his background and training. Traps designed to deal with man are few and far between when you live off wild, untamed lands.

Basically, Hell Hath No Fury is a feature which makes it so anything short of being paralyzed is going to allow the Fighter to make instinctive judgement calls that allow him to keep his full armor class bonus. It was a little weak; I was running out of ideas on how to improve the class.

I would LOVE to see this remade with help of suggestions to me with emphasis particularly on the later levels.

I've looked at Weapon Supremacy. POS way to give people a reason to stick to the class. Hmm...Weapon Supremacy...Mighty Rage....Weapon Supremacy....Mighty Rage....

I wonder which one is more powerful? And which one forces more requisites down my throat?

The Barbarian gets his capstone at no cost other than staying as a Barbarian. The fighter gets the ''capstone'' -- at 18th level, for whatever reasons! -- after committing half of his ''versatility'' to a single weapon.

The training thing is true. I think I would want two seperate abilities; one that allows you to MAKE weapons and then train yourself in them, another that allows you pick up weapons and utilize them as similar simple/martial weapons.

A weapon I think that would require training and experimentation that a Fighter could make, for example, is displayed below:

The blade Bow

This weapon is a powerful composite longbow with a pair of scimitar blades running along the fore of it. These scimitar blades and the superior quality wood that they are mounted on are treated as masterwork exotic weapons. The blades do 1d6/1d6 damage and can be used as a double weapon, whilst the bow does 1d8+STR modifier of damage. Scouts desiring to carry as little as possible for gear and wanting their melee defense against rushers right on their ranged attack carry this weapon.

2007-12-15, 02:54 AM
There's no denying that the barbarian has an edge over an out-of-the box fighter. Not compared to an optimized fighter, but it's certainly much simpler to build an effective barbarian than it is to build an effective fighter. The edge isn't nearly as big as you think it is, though, at least once you start adding a few choice splatbooks.

Mighty Rage = +8 Strength. That's +4 to hit and +6 to damage, assuming a two-handed weapon. A fighter with the entire chain of Weapon Focus + Greater Weapon Focus + Weapon Specialization + Greater Weapon Specialization + Weapon Mastery (PHB II) also gets +4 to hit and +6 to damage, and can get that by level 12. Now, yes, there goes 5 feats, so you're now comparing the fighter's 6 remaining feats to the barbarian's increased HD, skills, uncanny dodge, and DR. Tough call, except you now propose to take all that and give it to the fighter too. So basically your revision means the fighter has as much attacking power as a raging barbarian if he wants it (beyond very low levels, where the barbarian can't rage very often anyhow), has all the defenses of the barbarian, still has several more unspent feats over the barbarian, and gets a couple of cool high level abilities that the barbarian doesn't get.

What advantages does the barbarian have left? Well, slightly higher HP while in a rage (which disappears as soon as rage ends), fast movement, trap sense, and a few bonuses to will saves. Do you really think that that's worth 5 or 6 feats and Always Ready/Combative Instincts/Seen Hell Already? I would happily trade the now-diminished list of barbarian advantages for either one of the Combative Instincts abilities, let alone the other stuff fighters now get on top of everything barbarians get.

Don't get me wrong, the fighter needs some lovin', but barbarians are the least of their worries. Unless you plan on either discarding the barbarian class entirely, or redoing it with some upgrades of its own, this clashes badly with the PHB barbarian.

2007-12-15, 06:29 AM
The Barbarian's all about "roughing it" and doing it the (sometimes au) natural way.
He's not better at evading traps because he makes them, he's better at it because he's got the mindset of a mouse when it's trying to steal someone's cheese. As an animal might, he pays enough attention to the environment to know the difference between a loose cobblestone and a cobblestone that's been artificially manipulated to be mechanical. He knows how to jump and twist to evade a trap, and is familiar with that "Ah hah, I got you now!" moment that you might feel when a snake is lunging towards you, fangs bared. Only, the Barbarian's got the instinct and reflexes to twitch out of the way.
(But he's not necessarily more agile than a Rogue, who might be spending all of her day squeezing through jailhouse bars.)

Same explanation applies to Uncanny Dodge.

A similar principle applies to the DR. By level 7 the guy's probably got the scars and skin to match an elephant's infected eczema rash. Okay, bad analogy, but you get the point: He could make beds out of poison ivy, for what it matters. His skin has grown stronger, in a way that's an order of magnitude better than the callouses on your feet. (Though, how Barbs ever got to have a reputation for being good lovers while having skin like that... Oh, right. He's an animal in that respect too.)

So, how's this apply to the fighter?
He likes weapons, and he likes using them. That's it. There's no emphasis on special dodging or durability; a good fighter puts his enemies down like dogs through superior expertise. That's what combat feats are for: Knowing how to do the right attack at the right time and doing it better than the other guy. A fighter's advantage is variety: You may inevitably face an opponent who outclasses you in every way (*cough*dragon*cough), but if he doesn't know what feats you have, there's a chance you could surprise him. That's what brings victory. That's what makes fighters better. Or just sufficient.

Except against wizards, because magic's a b—

...Anyway, that's my take on the class. If you don't agree, think up your own flavoriffic ideal for what the Fighter represents. Just bear in mind, a good PC class isn't dominated by its theme, but it does reflect on it. (Otherwise you'll have a class that is full of weird abilities that feel like they were randomly picked out of the air. Like the Monk. :p ) Ironically, I think the Barbarian does this best. You first have to realize what the Barbarian is; the rest falls into place later.

Charlie Kemek
2007-12-15, 10:31 AM

sorry, I just had to say that, no offense, you just weren't getting the point, so here are the deffinitions of the two. you must not mix these up!

Trap sense: +x to avoiding traps.

Trapfinding: the ability to find and disable traps.

those are the basics of the two

2007-12-15, 07:44 PM

Yeah, I pointed that out earlier. But thanks for putting in terms (and font styles) that couldn't possibly be missed or misinterpretted.

To further clarify (if that's necessary at this point), the barbarian has absolutely no relation to the construction, understanding, identification, etc. of traps. He just has trap sense, which gives him an instinct for avoiding traps when they go off at him, just as uncanny dodge gives him an instinct to avoid surprise attacks from other sources. That's why trap sense was originally just a feature of the barbarian's uncanny dodge ability, not so long ago, before 3.5 when 3E first hit the shelves. It's not a quality of how the barbarian relates to traps (he doesn't, except to dodge them or smash them, most likely) it's a quality of how the barbarian relates to being attacked.

(Edit: As to my earlier comment about illiterate hunter-gatherers and traps, maybe I confused the issue, but, like trapfinding, that comment also had no direct connection with the barbarian class. Just a word of caution not to assume that illiterate means stupid or incapable. Go take a walk in the Kalahari desert sometime and see who fares better: you, or the illiterate bushmen who live there :smallwink: )

2007-12-16, 03:09 AM
I intend to redo all the classes prior to starting my campaign in about six months. Barbarian will be given an emphasis on rapid damage; Fighters an emphasis on survival and outlasting in massive fights. Barbarians will be given abilities to quickly turn opponents who do survive the first few rounds into quivering fools; the Fighters will rely on survival skills, an ability to react to things efficiently.

Please, don't worry about the Barbarian; emphasize, for the time being, on giving me information for how I can give the Fighter some nice higher level capstones without confusion of underpower/overpower.